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Next Flash Version Will Support Private Browsing 192

An anonymous reader writes "The world rolled its eyes when the problem of Flash cookies came to light several months ago. Even if you're careful about cookies or even if you use your browser's private surfing feature, sites can still track you through cookies stored by Flash. However, soon enough the next version of Flash, 10.1, will support private browsing and will integrate with browsers to turn it on when the browser itself is in private browsing mode. Browsers still store data during a private browser session, but they will delete it all at the end of the session. The same will be true of Flash private browsing."
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Next Flash Version Will Support Private Browsing

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  • Remind me why (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @07:53PM (#31162292)

    Remind me why Flash needs to be stateful, again?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @07:59PM (#31162344)

    Sorry Adobe, but it's time for HTML5.

  • Re:Remind me why (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @07:59PM (#31162348) Journal
    Because Advertisers are the customers that matter, and they love having something that survives a naive "clear cookies" attempt by the pitiful consumer?
  • Burn All Flashes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Renderer of Evil ( 604742 ) on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @08:05PM (#31162434) Homepage

    Remember this site? http://burnallgifs.org [burnallgifs.org]

    We need a similar campaign for Adobe Flash. It's dinosaur technology built for the internet stone age. Time to get rid of it for good.

  • by sych ( 526355 ) on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @08:07PM (#31162466)

    "The world rolled its eyes when the problem of Flash cookies came to light several months ago.[...]"

    There, fixed that for you.

  • by OnTheEdge ( 136784 ) on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @08:15PM (#31162550)
    Surf using a virtual machine and revert to a stored snapshot upon close. Problem solved.
  • by BoppreH ( 1520463 ) on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @08:19PM (#31162584)
    I'm not sure about you, but I prefer playing Flash games instead of downloading suspicious .exe files.

    If you don't play Flash games, it's not a good reason to forbid everyone else to do so.
  • And after that.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Peter Cooper ( 660482 ) on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @08:23PM (#31162608) Homepage Journal

    After that feature, could they make Flash respect the "Block Pop Up Windows" features in Safari and Firefox? I expect NO popups when I have this set.. yet Flash seems to be able to open them still!

  • by Rejemy ( 78237 ) on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @08:36PM (#31162752) Homepage

    By which you mean "it's time for HTML5 in 3 years when IE9 penetration is high enough, assuming IE9 supports HTML5 when and if it comes out".

  • Re:Overreacting? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @08:55PM (#31162950)

    The reason is that third party ad sites use Flash ads.

    You visit site A which is about midget pr0n, third party site drops a cookie there.
    You reset your IP address.
    You visit site B which is about beer bongs, same third party sees the cookie it dropped when you were at site A, stores that info combined with your IP in a database.
    You visit site C which is about fart lighting, same third party fetches the LSO and knows that you have been to the above two sites even though you had "pr0n mode" active on your browser which clears cookies.

    On some sites, every page you click on, ad servers check the LSO and can build a definite profile on you that follows you even if the browser clears cookies, and even when you change IPs.

    Later on, you enter some username/password information in on a site. *bam* They now have a name to the profile and browser history. This now can be sold to anyone who wants it, be it an estranged spouse, a would-be employer, or an adversary in a lawsuit who will use the information in front of a jury to humilate.

    This is a great boon for data miners, not a good thing for consumers.

  • Re:Remind me why (Score:2, Insightful)

    by davester666 ( 731373 ) on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @09:04PM (#31163046) Journal

    > Because Advertisers are the customers, and they....

    Fixed that for you. People with the flash player aren't customers of Adobe's, because they aren't paying Adobe anything.

    Just like, up until very recently, cell phones were designed for the needs of the manufacturers customers, namely wireless carriers, and as such, were designed [and/or redesigned] to meet the desires of the wireless carriers. If actual end-users liked the design and/or specific features, those features had to be removed :-)

  • by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @09:10PM (#31163100)

    Not everything should be done in the webbrowser.

    Get off my lawn!

  • Re:Remind me why (Score:3, Insightful)

    by digitalunity ( 19107 ) <digitalunity AT yahoo DOT com> on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @10:29PM (#31163698) Homepage

    Your example of cell phones is apt in this case. Innovation in the cell phone industry has been limited to what carriers will allow. I hope Google starts a trend to buck the subsidized phone business.

    Cell phones have been capable of so much more for a long time, but in this case the true customers are the carriers - not the end users.

    Flash is in an almost identical situation. Allowing even savvy end users to manage their privacy would hamper advertisers efforts to track us. Flash is a dominant force because everyone uses it. If there is fragmentation, Adobe will lose it's power, mindshare and eventually its revenue.

  • Re:Remind me why (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Rossman ( 593924 ) on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @12:19AM (#31164682) Homepage

    "There should be an option to default allow/deny/question whether Shared Objects should be allowed."

    There is: http://www.macromedia.com/support/documentation/en/flashplayer/help/settings_manager03.html [macromedia.com]

    You can also whitelist and blacklist sites in that same Flash Global Settings Manager :)

  • by naz404 ( 1282810 ) on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @12:23AM (#31164708) Homepage

    Does HTML5 allows you to play video with some advertisement in a running text over it?
    Sure. Just use a CSS layer.

    Not if you're embedding 3rd-party videos on stuff like blogs, forums, etc the way people embed Youtube et al right now. Flash is great because it gives you a little widget that shows you a whole lot of options like contextual links, etc when embedded in 3rd party websites, giving the viewer the ability to check out related videos,etc.

    Hardcore Flash games I can see and some super heavy duty flash "applications", but so often this can be done in HTML with CSS/AJAX.

    You obviously are not a game developer and are talking out of your ass. "Easy to port HARCORE Flash Games often to CSS" my ass. CSS/AJAX has no equivalent for the timeline-based animation which makes putting animated stuff in Flash games so easy. Also, Flash has an excellent multi-channel sound API, something which is very rudimentary on HTML/Javascript. Sound is an important part of many games these days for the user experience, and Flash gives developers and the user good access to this.

    Also, doing stuff in Javascript/CSS bloats the hell out of downloads since the interpreted Javascript code is in plaintext, unlike Flash which compresses it down to bytecode. Moreover, games built on the Flash platform can be made in a single SWF package which you can redistribute and embed to a whole bunch of different sites, unlike a DHTML-based game. Sure, you can build arcade games with Javascript/CSS, but they will not match the richness and features of Flash games.

    Other stuff HTML5 doesn't have: support for microphone, webcam, multi-touch, accurate percentage loaded (down to single bytes) of assets (for preloaders which are important to the user so they can see accurate download progress and see when they can start using the apps), or client peer-to-peer support. Flash does. Let's see you try running relatively complex animated true-3D polygon models with texture mapping *at decent framerates* in DHTML too.

    Yeah? That's what I thought. Flash is NOT YET dead.

  • by shmlco ( 594907 ) on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @03:57AM (#31166244) Homepage

    "...will not match the richness and features of Flash games."

    All of which assumes that we want them in the first place.

  • Cross Platform ?!? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DrYak ( 748999 ) on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @06:27AM (#31166994) Homepage

    World needs a full-blown rich client platform for the browsers and so far Adobe has been the only one who were able to provide a cross-platform, browser-independent solution.

    Sorry what do you mean by "Cross-Platform and Browser-Independent" solution ?
    The damn thing only runs mostly correctly on Windows and Mac OS X, and is half broken on Linux. And that's only 32bits support - the 64bits support is currently catastrophic.
    In the 90s, when Windows and Mac OS were the only platforms, your sentence would have had made sense.
    In 2010, where smartphones are pervasive, when every single gadget seems to be internet-enabled, Flash is a big problem because it only runs on a fraction of what a modern user may find.
    The iPhone has no official Adobe Flash support, for exemple.

    Either Flash should die and get replaced by modern standards such as HTML5/CSS/Javascript/etc. (that's my preferred solution)
    Or, Adobe should open their Flash and release some freely accessible specifications (and grant free use for any submarine patents) so people like the Gnash dev team could provide 100% compatible support for any platform under the sun.

    But the current situation is far from the cross-platform heaven we need.

  • by ytpete ( 837953 ) on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @07:09AM (#31167220)

    I'm sorry, but whenever I read comments like this I have to ask – how much AJAX web development have you really done? It's easy to build a couple pop-up menus and accordion controls and then decide that DHTML + CSS is all-powerful. But, frankly, it's not even close yet.

    I spent years doing bleeding-edge AJAX development, and DHTML is by far the shabbiest development "platform" I have ever used. Frameworks like Dojo help, some. HTML5 will help, some. But it's all wallpaper overtop one core flaw: HTML was fundamentally never designed as an interactive-content development platform. Its programming language is embarrassing. It lacks any mechanism for reusing markup code (componentization). It lacks declarative data binding. It makes animated transitions far too hard. Its layout model is absurdly complex. And that's not even getting into the issues with browser and API fragmentation, backwards-compatibility, etc.

    One other question for you: have you ever tried using Adobe Flex? Don't knock it till you try it. It is imperfect, for sure, but it positively screams maturity when you try it after years of banging your head on AJAX development. And sorry, but I just don't see HTML5 turning that around any time soon.

  • by dreamchaser ( 49529 ) on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @10:15AM (#31168520) Homepage Journal

    "All of which assumes that we want them in the first place."

    Apparently a lot of people do, given the growing popularity of fairly advanced flash based games.

"If you lived today as if it were your last, you'd buy up a box of rockets and fire them all off, wouldn't you?" -- Garrison Keillor